Proselyte, from Greek προσήλυτος/proselytos, is used in the Septuagint for "stranger", i.e. a newcomer to Israel; a sojourner in the land, and in the New Testament (Strong's G4339) for a convert to Judaism from Paganism. It is a translation of the Hebrew word גר/ger (Strong's H1616).
Two kinds of proselyte in Judaism[change | change source]
There are two kinds of proselyte:
- Ger tzedek (righteous proselytes, proselytes of righteousness, religious proselyte, devout proselyte)
- Ger toshav (gate proselyte, proselytes of the gate, limited proselyte, half-proselyte)
A righteous proselyte was a Gentile who had converted to Judaism, was bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish economy, and was considered a full member of the Jewish people.
Proselytes in early Christianity[change | change source]
The "religious proselytes" spoken of in Early Christian writings were righteous proselytes, as distinguished from gate proselytes.